Felipe Nasr’s future remained uncertain on Monday, as Sauber extended its deal with Marcus Ericsson into 2017.
“The second driver … will be announced in due course,” the Swiss team said in the Ericsson announcement.
Nasr has run into trouble with his backer Banco do Brasil, but there have also been signs of unrest with team management including boss Monisha Kaltenborn.
However, Bernie Ecclestone has been actively looking for a seat for Nasr, with his countryman Felipe Massa retiring after Sunday’s Abu Dhabi grand prix.
Asked if a Brazilian driver is important for F1, Ecclestone admitted to Auto Motor und Sport: “We need one.
“Until now, we’ve always had one at the front for decades.”
As for where Nasr might slot in for 2017, the Briton answered: “Which teams still have empty seats? Sauber and Manor. So he will not have much success there.”